Hi, my name is Reuben91! — Scope | Disability forum
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Hi, my name is Reuben91!

Reuben91 Member Posts: 2 Listener

Hi my name is Reuben91 :)

I’m a 29-year-old autistic man and I struggle socially in many ways, mainly because the ways I feel comfortable socialising are not as easy as a neurotypical (non-autistic). I’ve always lived with a lot of anxiety, and over the course of my life, I’ve been through some social trauma as well. Of course, when you have autism yourself, you’d be more susceptible to the social world. I’m not someone who can just interject into a conversation between many people on social networking websites.

I can remember how I felt at school, surrounded by so many others in my peer group, I just didn’t want to get involved. However; just because I didn’t get involved in school didn’t mean I wanted to be alone, far from it. I always felt alone and lonely, I just wandered the playground at school on my own, left to my own shadow and analytical mind. I always felt older than everyone else, I saw their childish games of running around the playground to be a waste of energy. I wanted to talk about life with them, but they didn’t. I was bullied to no end, so I just wanted to wait till I got home to ‘drown my mind’, as I’d call it, in video games.

I find it extremely difficult to find the right setting to get to know a single woman. Looking beyond this current chaos we’re living in at the moment. Looking to the past, as well as the future, I know I’m not able to cope with noisy environments such as pubs, clubs, bars, etc. I’ve also tried online dating websites, pen pal adverts, social networking, even forums, you name it, I’ve tried it, but nothing ever seems to work… My situation is quite complex as well and difficult to express entirely, since my mother has disabilities of her own, including anxiety, lipoedema and arthritis. Neither of us can drive either, so my options are extremely limited.

Maybe I’m old fashioned, but I can only really cope with writing to a woman one-to-one, I can’t cope on the telephone, certainly not until I get to know them long enough to grow comfortable, even then, it would have to be a gradual process. Even meeting her would take a long time, to grow comfortable with each other. When you’re autistic, the social world is not only a minefield, it also feels more like attempting to climb Mt. Everest.

I don’t know if you’d be able to provide advice or not, or if you or someone you know would like to write to me?


  • chiarieds
    chiarieds Member, Community Co-Production Group Posts: 12,478 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Reuben91 - I'd just like to welcome you to this very supportive community. We have many members on the autistic spectrum, so I feel you'll find a lot of understanding here.
    It's not the same, but my son was evaluated by a neuropsychologist when he was 19 or 20 due to a completely different issue, namely problems with his memory. He wasn't given a diagnosis, but was said to be 'next door to Aspergers,' if one looked at the spectrum.
    Some of what you say resonates with me; at school my son got on with a couple of much older pupils, not his peers; at least he had that. He was also bullied throughout primary & secondary school, until he joined a 6th form college. He's always been a very quiet person, & not one for social interaction. He's always seen things differently to a neurotypical person, but this has made him the great individual he is. He met his first girlfriend initially online through a gaming site. He met his 2nd girlfriend in real life in a retail shop he worked in part-time. She didn't notice he was different, apart from later saying his 'geekiness' was one of the things that attracted her, & if he hadn't asked her out, she would have asked him! They've been together, I think 8+ years, & happily married for 4.
    Sorry this doesn't give you an answer, but sometimes you find love when you're not looking......my son certainly wasn't, as he'd been jilted by his first girlfriend, to whom he'd become engaged, just a few months before.
    Just trying to say, there is hope, & yes, things can rightly take time. When you meet the one who accepts you for who you are, they will give you all the time you need.

  • steve51
    steve51 Member Posts: 7,153 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Reuben91

    Good Morning & Welcome it’s great to meet you today.

    I am one of the Community Champion’s here at Scope.

    Please let me know if there’s anything that I can help you with today?????


  • janer1967
    janer1967 Member Posts: 16,509 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Reuben91 Welcome to the community great to have you on board.

    i am sure there wiill be other members on here who can point you in the right direction and have similar condition to yourself.

    Have a look round the site maybe at the dating and relationship section which may offer you some advice

    It is difficult to find a partner when you are limited to meeting, socialising, and connecting but not impossible as there are lots of other people who will feel the same as yourself 
  • Reuben91
    Reuben91 Member Posts: 2 Listener
    edited July 2020

    Hi everyone, and thank you all for your responses and advice, :). I just felt I need to explain a little bit more about myself in my introduction, because there’s a lot to express.

    The difficulty is that part of the complexity I was mentioning that’s difficult to express is that I experienced a breakdown in my secondary school years, then I was diagnosed when I was 13. My mother fought for me to have a Statement of Special Educational Needs that only lasted till I was 19, when it should have lasted till the age of 25. Also, I could only cope with being taught from behind my bedroom door, which is the way I was taught, until I reached 19. I never attended a college.

    From a young age, I’ve been through what felt like an emotional rollercoaster. I felt like I’d been hit with metaphorical sledgehammers more than once in my life, like I feel as if I’d been born under a cursed star or something. I was always ignored in the classroom, like the ghost. Even when I attempted to talk to others, they looked at me as if I were dirt off their shoes. I’ve always felt alone and lonely, dejected, rejected, ostracised. Unfortunately, there was a time a bully recognised my despair, and tricked me, leaving me with my first emotional trauma. When a 10-year-old lonely autistic boy is called a ‘creep’ by a girl you like, well, it leaves a scar. From that day, I didn’t think girls ever wanted to get to know me. Technically, I felt dead inside. It was only on the year of my breakdown, back in secondary school when I was 13 years old, I was confronted with the opposite, when a girl liked me instead, but I was hurt so badly, bullied so much, feeling like the walking dead, not only was I taken aback by the encounter, my analytical supercomputer critical autistic mind took over. It was telling me, I was hurt before by being tricked, how can you be sure it’s not happening all over again. I was polite to her, but I walked away. Later on, I could have kicked myself, but by then, it was too late… Anyway, the encounter felt more dreamlike at the time. I can remember distinctly because I ended up totally out of character. Confronting her took me completely out of myself. I started to do things I’d never done before; I wasn’t as cautious as I was before. I saw a loose paving stone on the floor other students were jumping on, messing around, and on the second day, I joined in. What I didn’t expect was another student would jump on the other side, causing it to crack. I was interrogated in front of two classes by the head of year/P.E. teacher because of that cracked paving stone, even the other student who jumped on the other side didn’t own up to his guilt. I was left carrying it all on my own. Not even my friend I thought I had at the time would come to help me. I was left totally and utterly alone. I just burst into tears for weeks, and I REFUSED categorically to ever return to school. So began some of the earlier harsh lessons I was confronted with. I seem to ALWAYS learn the hard way in life… That’s just scratching the surface, but even in that, I learnt a lot about the cruelty of life. Everything from betrayal, overpowering authoritarian bullying, taking advantage of your vulnerabilities, overcritical thinking, under-critical thinking…

    This last decade has been a turbulent set of years for me too. I’ve been writing all over the internet. Putting my heart and soul into everything I do. I can remember one time, it took me over six and a half years to express my feelings to a girl I wrote to for all that time, only to find out she was ‘asexual’, sending her countless heartfelt and handmade gifts, writing affectionate words to her, encouraging her, meeting her with her mother, and my mother, on the year I confessed my feelings to her in writing... Since then, at different times, over the years, I’ve written to a woman at several destinations from around the world, and from different walks of life. One knew me from school (who blamed my autism), one owned acres of land, one was extremely religious, one had no emotional feeling whatsoever, several came from America, one from the Netherlands who wrote to me from an online video game (MMORPG) became abusive, one who liked my writing came from India (who ended up married, possibly an arranged marriage), one came from China who couldn’t understand why couples were happy with little money. I’ve read a lot, and from many different points of view. Most of the time I feel like I’ve been writing to aliens, because to me, it feels more like they’d been living on the planet Venus… Many felt more like pipe dreams, others felt like we were living in separate dimensions, at least three of them were autistic themselves. If I’m supposed to learn a lesson from all these social encounters which have ended badly, I wish I could find the answer, because all I’ve ever wished for in life is to be loved and accepted by a woman who cares and understands, but so far, I feel more like I’d have a better chance attempting to part the sea…

    There are times I feel that there must be some kind of hidden guide book to life, and I seem to have misplaced my copy over the years… Who have I been writing to over the years? I feel like someone or something out there is doing this to me as some kind of a sick joke at my expense. I swear there must be many men out there who take for granted the simple ability of being able to surround themselves by complete strangers, and finding that one special lady among the betrayers, liars, backstabbers, ruthless, overly ambitious, bullies. There are many wolves in sheep’s clothing out there in this twisted world we live in, and wear what I like to call metaphorical ‘masks’. Ironic that people are now being ‘forced’ to wear them. Personally, I’d say there have already been far too many out there who have already been wearing them on a daily basis, of the invisible kind. I’d like to know who they really are under those things… I can remember I experienced this exact same encounter with the girl who knew me from school. I found out she was a bully to other women, but she was all sweetness and nice to me, until she accused my autism that is… On dating websites, I can remember a constant repetition when it came to people’s interests. Where’s the individuality of liking something a little different, like Japanese animation (anime) and other worldwide topics. There’s plenty of other fascinating topics of interest out there. What are we, dominos all lined up in a row waiting for a gust of wind to blow us all down? Sometimes I wonder if I’m one of the few people who is truly being themselves. What kind of a world have I been born into, I ask myself from time to time…!

    The reason why I say I ‘drown my mind’ in video games is because when I can recognise that nothing I do seems to work in the social world, I end up in the pits of depression. I start to feel that same feeling I felt back at school, unwanted, unneeded and worthless; just a target for bullying. Knowing that my way of socialising is based on gradual transition, yet no one ever seems to understand… So, in the end, I feel a need to shut myself away from everything around me; to imagine I’m in a completely different world, that such restrictions do not exist, when I know in reality, they do. As I’ve said, I even tried writing to people across online games (MMORPGs = Massive Multiplayer Online Role Play Games), but the last time I did that, I was confronted by an extremely rude girl from the Netherlands who kept swearing at me, and since then, I don’t trust writing to people on games like that ever again… Basically, I escape to single player video games, even if I do play MMORPGs, I play them ALONE, purely because from my experience, people can be random, and shout at you for no reason at all. That, or they seem to recognise the same traits that bullies could recognise in me in the school system. You see, from my experience, even as you get older, those same traits you’ve experienced as a child never seem to leave you.

    Maybe I’m naïve, but I’ve always been true to myself. It could be the reason why I could never face school again, because I could never lie to myself nor others, whereas the others in my peer group seemed to let everything just ‘blow over their shoulders’. I was never like that, when I was hurt, it was never something I could ‘bottle up’ inside. The only time I ever did that, without knowledge, because I was under shock, is that it took me a long time to express the experience I went through in secondary school regarding that girl who liked me. That was subconscious I wasn’t even aware of it at the time, until I saw her years later working as a bank clerk in Nationwide, but I was under too much stress and anxiety to say anything to her, even my mother who was standing next to me, didn’t know, because I never had a chance to talk to her about her… You have no idea the thoughts that were circling around my mind when I saw her that second time. I felt almost as if I was standing out of my own body. Unfortunately, my mind also went completely blank, I hadn’t the words to express myself, I was under too much shock. She even told us her name, but I never heard it, my suppressed memories were all flooding back to me before I had a chance to process them. Now, all these years later, I never want such a chance to slip me by again, I want to be able to express my feelings without having to worry if I’m being tricked, to know it’s REAL, and there’s nothing to fear. I need to know their feelings are true, I need to know that I won’t be hurt again, I need to know that I can express my feelings without fear of rejection. I will never know if it would have ever worked back at school, but now, all these years later, I just wish another girl like her would come into contact with me again.

    Unfortunately, I’m now only restricted to the internet, because the outside is just too socially hostile to me now. I can’t interact in the same way as school. In fact, truth be told, I wasn’t even able to socialise in school at all really. Back then, my interests were practically non-existent, I just saw life as a living hell. To be honest, these days, I’m not sure I was so inaccurate… I’ve been through so much in my life so far, I can understand all too well how I felt all those years ago, :(. I wish I could just express all my experiences, memories, thoughts and feelings without having to say a word, for a single woman to be able to understand and relate to what I’ve been through… Why isn’t life as simple as that…, :(?

  • steve51
    steve51 Member Posts: 7,153 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Reuben91  

    Good Afternoon.

    I hope that you are having a good day??

    Yes I would be very happy in continuing to help you on here??!?

  • chiarieds
    chiarieds Member, Community Co-Production Group Posts: 12,478 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi again @Reuben91 - I just wanted to ask if you'd tried Outsiders which I've seen recommended? They have an online community, & have lunches where people can meet (don't know when these will start up again tho). You could always have a look to see what you think. Please see: https://www.outsiders.org.uk/outsidersclub/  :)


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